Mizoram and Assam to hold chief minister-level talks on border dispute
Assam ministers meeting CM Zoramthanga

Aizawl: Mizoram and Assam will hold Chief Minister-level talks to find an amicable solution to the inter-state border dispute, an official statement stated on Wednesday.

The development came a day after the two neighbouring states held ministerial-level talks to resolve the decades-old boundary dispute. The Mizoram delegation was led by Home Minister Lalchamliana, while the Assam deputation was headed by Border Protection and Development Minister Atul Bora. Lalchamliana’s ministerial colleague, Lalruatkima and Assam minister Ashok Singhal were also part of the discussions.

The two Assam ministers on Wednesday called on Mizoram CM Zoramthanga in Aizawl and discussed the border issue. 

During the meeting with Assam ministers, Zoramthanga had a telephonic conversation with his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma and both agreed to have a chief ministerial-level talk in Delhi in the last part of August or early September, the statement said. 

Zoramthanga told the visiting Assam ministers that his government would make “massive efforts to amicably resolve the vexed border disputes”. 

The Mizoram CM emphasized the importance of mutual trust and understanding between the two states. 

He said the border dispute between Mizoram and Assam can’t be resolved overnight, but measures should be taken to resolve the dispute step-by-step. 

Assam ministers said that they have strong faith in Zoramthanga, who has vast political experience. They assured Zoramthanga that the Assam government would take efforts to resolve the border dispute in a manner which is acceptable for the people of both states.

The delegations of the two neighbouring states on Tuesday held talks in Aizawl during which both agreed to promote and maintain peace and to prevent any untoward incident along the borders.

The two states signed a joint statement, in which they agreed to convene meetings of deputy commissioners of bordering districts at least once in two months.

Both sides also agreed that economic activities, including cultivation and farming, which have been practised by the people on either side of the borders, should not be disturbed but allowed to continue regardless of the administrative control presently exercised by either state at such locations subject to forest regulations and after informing the Deputy Commissioners concerned.

The two delegations also agreed to hold the next round of talks at Guwahati in October. The delegations had told reporters that the two states were keen on resolving the border dispute and were confident of finding a lasting solution.

Three Mizoram’s districts – Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit- share a 164.6 km long boundary with Assam’s Hailakandi, Karimganj and Cachar districts. 

The border dispute between the two states is a long-standing issue, which stemmed from two colonial demarcations – 1875 and 1933.

While Mizoram accepted the demarcation under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BERF) notified in 1875, which covers vast stretches of the area now falling under Assam, as its actual boundary, the Assam government said that the demarcations made under the 1933 notification were its constitution boundary.

On July 26 last year, a violent clash took place at the disputed area near Vairengte town on the NH-306 when police forces of both states exchanged fire. At least six policemen and a civilian from Assam had died and around 60 people were injured in the clash. 

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